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In the Name of All That is Holy, Please Don’t Be a Fucking Spaz: A Nice Guy Gets Tough on Bizarro Etiquette

Hey, friend. What’s that you got there? Well, I’ll be! It’s a Bizarro book. How did you like it? Yeah, I read that one too. It’s super good. The guy or lady who wrote that is a friend of mine. No, I don’t have their phone number. I don’t own a phone. No, I will not log on to Facebook with your phone so I can message them and ask for their phone number right here. Because that’s rude. Rude. No, I am not implying that it has a fondness for ska music, I am saying it’s impolite. Oh…you still don’t understand.

I’m a nice guy. I do a lot of favors for a lot of people. Some of these people have returned these favors, some I never expect to. Some have punished me for my generosity and kindness. This is true with most nice people. And I’m not saying I’m a nice guy in the way Don Rickles says it. I try my damnedest to be nice to everyone, especially people trying to come into writing. There’s a good chance I may have already read your manuscript or story, given you advice on Bizarro or offered some words of encouragement even though chances are, you were only pretending to know who I was. I’m onto you, but that’s okay.

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“David Crosby looks good with his beard like that.”

Everybody needs a helping hand. Everybody needs someone in their corner. Chances are, I or some fellow Bizarro is willing to give you said hand. But in seeking this assistance, please try to take note of the social contract and the following Bizarro rules of etiquette.

Rule Number 1: Do Your Research

Before trying to become a Bizarro writer because your work has weird elements like vampires or Canadians or people smoking (tee hee) MARIJUANA, go to Bizarrocentral and look at it thoroughly. If you’re reading this article, you’ve taken one step in the right direction. If you read one Bizarro book, you are headed in the right direction. If you read ten Bizarro books, you’re doin’ fine. Always know the work.  Always know the guidelines. Always know the players. Why? Because people don’t like doing huge favors for people who don’t know who the fuck they are.
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There are some exceptions. But not many.

Rule 2: Don’t Walk Around With Your Genitals Hanging Out
Let’s say we’re at a bar. And I’m a person that you want to pick up.

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A VERY likely scenario.
Do you:
a.) Approach me and strike up a conversation with me about a subject I might be interested in, like chainsaw massacres or the blues?
b.) Try to sell me a Rolex?
c.) Wave your genitals at me and scream “STUFF THINGS IN MY HOLES!”
If you answered anything but a, you will get no smooth, cool Bizarro style lovin’. Not just from me. From anyone in the community. Do not hound publishers about your work publicly on their Facebook wall. Do not mail them mounds of unsolicited material. Do not email me your manuscript and ask me to send it to Jeff or Cameron. Keep it in your pants. Be polite and inquisitive. Do your research. See Rule 1. Then see it again and fucking do it.

Rule 3 Come unarmed and humble
Do not approach Bizarro publishers material in hand preconceptions in head expecting them to take you on and that you’ll be the one exception because your book Horatio Wackypants and the Queef Machine is 250,000 words of pure surrealist gold. This might look like a rehash of rules 1 and 2. It isn’t. The best way into Bizarro right now is through The New Bizarro Author Series and Kevin Shamel is not going to make a gigantic exception to his 20,000 word limit to accommodate your magnum opus. Approach Kevin with humility and a willingness to learn.
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And some rootbeer. And a map that leads out of the forest.

Approach Rose O’ Keefe, Cameron Pierce, Jeff Burk, Carlton Mellick and anyone else affiliated with Eraserhead with humility and a willingness to learn. If an Eraserhead author looks you right in the eyes and says “I’m sorry, this isn’t Bizarro”. Don’t ask “well, what do you know about Bizarro? Isn’t Bizarro whatever I want it to be? How hard do you think you can punch me in the-” Head back to the old drawing board. Understand that everybody gets rejected. My initial query to Eraserhead was a mishmash of PTSD and ignorance with a delightful soupcon of absolute naivete.  But I attended Bizarrocon, paid attention to my peers and read a shitload of books and now I have a contract. And so could you. But if you ain’t ready to learn, you’re ready to suck.
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Ha ha, yes, even you Mechagodzilla!

3 responses

  1. I like to walk around with my genitals out, but only as a hobby.

    April 23, 2012 at 1:48 am

  2. “…if you ain’t ready to learn, you’re ready to suck.” Great line, and so demonstrably true.

    April 23, 2012 at 8:44 am

  3. Pingback: LegumeLinks « LegumeMan Blog

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